Dulles, VA asked in Foreclosure, Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for New York

Q: Is this fraud and if so, do I have legal recourse to do anything about it?

When my mother died in 2019, I unwittingly inherited a $100K Wells Fargo home equity loan from 2011 that it's my understanding was never paid back, either by her or by my late father. She had been claiming to pay off the loan using my SSI funds, and only in 2022 did I find out that was not true. I also was made aware that she may have forged my father's signature on the loan. I currently live in this house by myself due to having no where else to go, but I've made new efforts to leave, now that I can. However, the house also has tax liens on it that I wasn't aware of, and is in dire need of repair. A lot was kept from me. I intend to stay here as long as I'm able, and move into my apartment once there is a room for me. I am to further understand that Wells Fargo put $50,000 in escrow for insurance. I don't know what to do. I'm a disabled and poverty-stricken college student simply trying to survive. My extended family and I would benefit greatly from speaking with someone. Thank you.

1 Lawyer Answer
Carl Nelson
Carl Nelson
  • Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
  • Rye Brook, NY

A: While an estate can owe funds for debt of a decedent which can be deducted from the distribution of their assets, you would not be liable on a loan you did not sign (in other words, you cannot “inherit” a loan). You can, however, inherit real estate and that real estate may be encumbered by a mortgage. You may have certain options as an heir to your mother’s estate, but a lot will depend on the myriad factual circumstances. It would therefore be wise to seek competent counsel with regard to your rights and obligations in this property.

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